Shelbyville Disability Lawyer

Shelbyville, TN, is home to Vanderbilt Medical Center – a branch of the nationally ranked Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Just west of downtown at 200 Dover Street, the hospital treats numerous patients with serious injuries and illnesses.

Thanks to advances in medicine, many patients survive injuries and illnesses that, decades ago, were usually fatal. However, some people may find their lives irreversibly changed – they may be unable to return to work or to resume their life, as usual. That’s when it’s time to contact a Shelbyville Social Security Disability attorney.

Attorney John R. Colvin has more than 20 years of experience helping families in the Tennessee Valley apply for SSD benefits. He has also handled appeals for families, when an initial claim for benefits was denied. As a solo practitioner, he offers the kind of personalized service that’s hard to find with a large law firm, where a claimant might never speak directly with an attorney about their claim for SSD benefits.

If you need help with your SSD case, contact the Law Office of John R Colvin to request your free consultation: 1-931-962-1044.

 Disabling Injuries

In 2014, three construction workers suffered serious injuries when a wall they were finishing at Shelbyville Central High School collapsed onto them. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are not uncommon in Shelbyville, as the majority of jobs here are in manufacturing and construction. According to the Shelbyville Bedford County Chamber, these are the top five employers in the area:

  • Tyson Foods, 901 W. Jackson St. – 1,337 employees
  • Calsonic/Kansei, One Calsonic Way – 1,272 employees
  • Newell Brands, 1660 Railroad Ave. – 802 employees
  • National Pen Corporation, 342 Shelbyville Mills Rd. – 500 employees
  • Walmart Distribution Center, 285 Frank Martin Road – 472 employees

A person working full-time for any of those employers would be entitled to workers’ compensation should they suffer a serious on-the-job injury. However, the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act fails to provide sufficient benefits for workers who are unable to return the workforce after a life altering injury. Since 2014, workers’ compensation benefits in Tennessee have been curtailed by lawmakers at the expense of the injured worker. Many states provide a formal vocational rehabilitation and training program as a large part of their workers’ compensation statutory framework; however, Tennessee has focused instead on funding an administrative system with arbitrary caps on benefits recoverable by a worker that is disabled and unable to return to competitive work in the open labor market. As a result, many times SSD benefits become the primary safety net for a disabled worker to be able to provide for his family and dependents.

Help for Family Members

SSD benefits are calculated based on employment history, and workers need to have accumulated enough credits to qualify for benefits. A worker’s spouse or child, regardless of their individual work history, might qualify for benefits under the worker’s eligibility. Family members who may qualify include:

  • A spouse age 62 or older
  • A spouse of any age caring for a child (of the worker) who has a disability or is younger than 16
  • An unmarried child or adopted child younger than 18, or younger than 19 if still in high school (a stepchild or grandchild might be eligible for benefits in some cases)
  • An unmarried child older than 18, if they have a disability that began before age 22 (and the disability meets the adult definition of disability).

Returning to Work

When determining whether someone qualifies for benefits, the Social Security Administration looks at whether a person’s disability prevents them from doing any type of work. In addition to medical evidence, the SSA may want proof that an applicant’s educational background and work history would make them ineligible for other jobs. For example, someone who has no high school diploma and has worked only on assembly lines would be unable to get an office job that requires experience in customer service and using computer software.

The SSA does have a program called Ticket to Work that offers SSD benefits, free training and other services. If a person receiving SSD feels ready to work and can find a job, they may return to work on a trial basis, during which time they won’t lose their benefits. Unfortunately, some people find that their disability prevents them from working full-time, and they are not able to earn enough on their own to discontinue SSD benefits.

Getting Advice

If you need disability benefits, you may not know where to begin. Applying for SSD is a confusing and labor-intensive process, especially when your disability makes everyday tasks difficult to manage. Some people make mistakes on their application, and the SSD denies their claim.

An error-free application accompanied by extensive evidence can increase the odds of your claim being approved. If you live in the greater Shelbyville area and need help with your SSD claim, contact the Law Office of John R. Colvin – online or at 1-931-962-1044 – to request your free consultation.

Licensed to Practice in Tennessee & Alabama